John Lothian Newsletter: CFTC Delays Cases, Shelves Probes, in Funding Squeeze; Liffe Executive Departures Said Planned Following ICE’s Takeover; Top EU Financial Regulator Slams Direction of Derivatives Trading Rules Debate

Nov 1, 2013

First Read

John’s Comments and Other Thoughts
I am back from Mexico City, where I attended the WFE’s Annual Meeting. It was a lively affair conducted under great security. We had the privilege of having the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, address the conference.

While in Mexico, I learned the Peter Clifford, the COO of the WFE would be leaving the organization. I am sorry to see Peter go as he was an important piece of the WFE team. However, with the WFE moving to London, the team will be largely rebuilt with new employees as I learned only CEO Hüseyin Erkan, and one other employee are known to be making the move to London.

I am sorry to report that my father-in-law, Raymond Howard, passed away last Saturday in Florida at the age of 81. Ray had been fighting prostate cancer since 1995 and finally succumbed.

I was blessed with two father-in-laws, Ray and my step-father-in-law Robert Bergstrom. Now both are gone. I learned a lot of from both of them.

I am also sorry to report the exchange space will be losing Jacob Bunge of Dow Jones, as Jacob will be starting a new beat next week. He will be covering agriculture rather than exchanges, getting away from one smelly mess (Dodd-Frank) for another. I am particularly sad to see Jacob move on as he is an excellent reporter and one of the industry’s most enterprising. I am happy for him though as he takes this next step in his career. I wish him well.

Next week is FIA’s EXPO in Chicago. I will be around the EXPO most day, so feel free to stop me and say hello. On Tuesday I will be moderating a program for Phillip Futures titled “Trading Asia.” Click here for more details

It is nice to be home, but I am off to Columbia, Missouri to see my son Tim and the Mizzou Tigers football team this weekend.

Finally, last weekend I took steps to become a shotgun merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts. I completed a NRA Shotgun Instructor Training class and now am a certified NRA Shotgun Instructor. While I am an instructor, I am not a member of the NRA. It would be too confusing, as I am a member of the NFA and to be an NFA member you have to be a straight shooter.


FIA Futures Cares Corporate Charity Challenge 2013
Join us in the 2nd Annual Futures Cares Corporate Challenge and make a difference in the lives of so many hungry people in Cook County.

The FIA Futures Cares Corporate Challenge is a fun way to get your entire company involved with a great cause and a friendly industry competition. Join the FIA Futures Cares Corporate Charity Challenge from October 14 – November 15! We are asking FCMs, trading firms, exchanges, and service providers to enroll in a campaign to help Chicago’s food depository deliver more than 135,000 meals every day of the week. The challenge winner will have the honor of displaying the FIA Futures Cares traveling trophy in their office for the next year – a reminder of the company’s generosity. McGladrey was the challenge winner for 2012, contributing over $5,000 to the $20,000 total raised.

Skip lunch and fight hunger today. Donate $10 or what you would typically spend on lunch for one day and the Food Depository can purchase and distribute one week’s worth of fresh fruit to a family of four. For details on how to help, visit


Will NYSE Become More Transparent Like ICE?
Jennifer Costley – Wall Street & Technology
ICE‘s Thomas Farley said some eye-opening things about the future of the U.S. equities markets.


FIA Statement On CFTC Customer Protection Rule
FIA strongly supports the vast majority of the customer protections contained in the rule, many of which grew out of recommendations made by an FIA task force in the wake of the MF Global collapse. The codification of these requirements strengthens the protections and safeguards for customers, and we commend the Commission for finalizing these important changes. However, we oppose the CFTC’s final language on residual interest for all the reasons that FIA, agricultural customers and Members of Congress have articulated to the Commission over the last several months of its consideration.

***** This fight is not over.

***DA: For a summary of the final rule and links to additional information, visit MarketsReformWiki


IntercontinentalExchange Announces Launch Of 64 New Futures Contracts
The new contracts, which will be available for trading at either ICE Futures Europe or ICE Futures U.S. Energy Division and cleared at ICE Clear Europe, include global crude oil, gasoline, middle distillate, fuel oil, power, biodiesel, naphtha, natural gas liquid and environmental futures and options contracts.

***** When I started in the industry, there were only about 28 futures contracts listed and trading. Geez I am old.



SEFCON IV Snapshot
The Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association Americas (WMBAA) is an industry advocacy group made up of five inter-dealer brokerage firms (IDBs): BGC Partners, GFI Group, ICAP, Tradition and Tullett Prebon. Since 2010, the WMBAA has hosted its annual SEFCON conference on issues surrounding swap execution facilities (SEFs), a new type of financial transaction execution entity created by the Dodd-Frank Act. SEFCON IV, on November 18, 2013 in New York, will feature a status update on SEFs from regulators, legislators, dealers, traders and other market participants. Conference chairman Chris Ferreri offers a glimpse as to what attendees can expect in this video with John Lothian News Editor-at-Large Doug Ashburn.

Watch the video »


SEC Ponders Recent Jump in Off-Board Trading
Peter Chapman – Traders Magazine
The percentage of shares traded off-board has reached record levels. Is that bad news? What’s behind it? The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to know, but industry officials can’t seem to agree on an explanation.

***** At the WFE, it was reported that the average size executed on a dark pool is only 200 to 300 shares. This is an abomination!! This is the SEC not doing their job in protecting customers and protecting the integrity of the markets. This whole dark pool thing has gone way too far and must be stopped. There is a legitimate reason for LARGE orders to be executed using venue’s such as dark pools. There is no reason for small orders to be executed this way. There needs to be a rule for the minimum order size that makes an order eligible to be executed on a dark pool, otherwise it needs to go to a lit market. End of story.


Are dividends the next big asset class?
William Mitting – FOW
month Eurex experienced record volumes in its suite of dividend futures and options. The record comes as competition grows across Europe. Could this product, which was launched in 2008, finally be com­ing of age?

***** Five years old is not coming of age, it is still childhood. This product suite has lots of room for growth.


The End of Commission Payments for Research – Facing Up to the Elephant in the Room
Rebecca Healey – TabbFORUM
The FCA outlined its plan to ensure the UK asset management industry is fair, transparent and competitive, including a rigorous review of the use of client commissions. How research is provided by the sell side, quantified by the industry and paid for by the buy side will require a radical rethink that has the potential to deliver greater clarity and enhanced value to the underlying investor – if we are prepared to address the elephants in the room.

***** I have been told and asked several times to get into the research business. We are researching it.


A Call for ‘Scrooge McDucks’ to Pinch Fewer Pennies
The billionaire bond analyst Bill Gross is calling on “the Scrooge McDucks” of the world to share a little more of their wealth. In his latest monthly Investment Outlook, Mr. Gross, the co-founder of Pimco, tells his readers — whom he refers to as the Scrooge McDucks — that the era of taxing capital gains at rates below labor should end.

***** All I know is that someone is getting scrooged, or will be getting scrooged.


Wanted: Entry Level Hedgies; $353,000 Salary
David Benoit – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Looking for a new start in finance? Hedge funds are hiring and even their beginners are making bank. The hedge-fund industry ramped up hiring for entry-level positions in 2013, according to a new report from Hedge Fund Research. The average compensation for a mid-performing fund for those entry-level hires was a total of $353,000, including bonuses, according to HFR and its study partner Glocap.

***** Time to start over.



MarketsWiki Recent Updates


Sanela Hodzic; Fraser Cowie; Chris Ferreri; Jignesh Shah; Rinsy Ansalam

Companies, Organizations and Groups

Cantor Gaming; Tradeweb Markets LLC; Wholesale Markets Brokers’ Association Americas Inc.; Financial Technologies (India) Ltd; AlphaMetrix; Bourse Africa


Mini-SPX Index Options


Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; Swap Execution Facility; SEFCON


44,779,010 pages viewed, 7,691 articles, 167,139 edits
MarketsWiki Statistics

Lead Stories

CFTC Delays Cases, Shelves Probes, in Funding Squeeze
Jean Eaglesham –
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is so cash-starved that the agency is being forced to delay cases, shelve certain probes and decided not to file charges against two former traders over J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s “London whale” trading mess, a top official said.

Liffe Executive Departures Said Planned Following ICE’s Takeover
Nandini Sukumar & Isis Almeida – Bloomberg
Two senior executives at NYSE Liffe, Fraser Cowie and Ian Dudden, plan to leave the derivatives market after IntercontinentalExchange Inc. finishes buying its owner, NYSE Euronext (NYX), according to three people familiar with the situation.

Top EU Financial Regulator Slams Direction of Derivatives Trading Rules Debate
Anish Puaar – MoneyBeat – WSJ
The European Union’s top financial regulator has written to Members of the European Parliament to voice his concern on the direction of new derivatives trading rules being debated by the region’s policymakers.

Regulators propose tougher measures on capital requirements
Sam Fleming in London –
Global regulators are cracking down on banks that try to bend capital rules for their trading businesses by proposing new standards for the way lenders assess risk. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision yesterday published a consultation paper that analysts said could have significant repercussions for the way banks run their trading operations.

SEC Rebuffs Nasdaq on Options-Market Rule Change
Kaitlyn Kiernan –
Federal regulators rebuffed an attempt by Nasdaq OMX Group to grant greater options-trading rights to certain large trading firms. In rare disapproval of a proposed rule change, the Securities and Exchange Commission told the Nasdaq BX Options market that the change could fail to protect investors and the public interest.

Tel Aviv Bourse Taps Outsider Beinart as CEO After Trading Sinks
Shoshanna Solomon – Bloomberg
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange turned to an outsider to lead its effort to curb a plunge in trading volume, tapping Yossi Beinart as chief executive officer after a three-month search.

Fannie Mae sues nine banks for rigging Libor
Fannie Mae sued nine of the world’s largest banks on Thursday, accusing them of colluding to manipulate interest rates and seeking more than $800 million of damages.

After Fraud, the Fog Around Libor Hasn’t Lifted
Even without fraud, Gary Gensler, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, said this week in a speech at Harvard, Libor rates “are basically more akin to fiction than fact.” Unfortunately, nothing fundamental is being changed.

Ex-Madoff trader implicates other workers in decades-long fraud
A former trader at Bernard Madoff’s investment firm described on Thursday how he helped create false trades with two other former employees to prop up Madoff’s $17 billion Ponzi scheme.

RBS suspends two forex traders
Alice Ross and Daniel Schäfer –
Royal Bank of Scotland has suspended two traders in its foreign exchange division according to two people familiar with the situation, in another sign that the global probe by regulators into the suspected manipulation of the currency market is rapidly gaining traction.


CFTC Seeks Public Comment on Certification from MarketAxess SEF Corporation to Implement Available-to-Trade Determinations for Certain Credit Default Swaps
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is requesting public comment on a certification from MarketAxess SEF Corporation (MarketAxess) to implement available-to-trade determinations for certain credit default swap contracts. MarketAxess submitted its available-to-trade determinations to the CFTC on a self-certified basis pursuant to CFTC regulations 37.10 and 40.6.

Top Regulators Weigh Path Forward On Asset Managers
Ryan Tracy – MoneyBeat – WSJ
WASHINGTON—A group of senior U.S. regulators began discussing the next steps for oversight of the asset management industry Thursday amid questions about whether the biggest asset managers should be subject to additional supervision.

This Is Why Wall Street Hates Admitting Wrongdoing
Halah Touryalai – Forbes
Another day another lawsuit on Wall Street. This time it’s Fannie Mae suing a total of nine big banks over Libor losses. The housing agency says the banks manipulated the Libor rate and caused it to lose money. It’s suing for $800 million.

Kill switches may lead to systemic risk, expert warns
Jessica Meek –
Regulatory efforts to shut down rogue trading algorithms could backfire, industry experts are now warning. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advocated kill switches be implemented on trading platforms since Knight Capital’s $440 million losses in August 2012 owing to a technical glitch. The last few months have also seen trading glitches at Goldman Sachs, Nasdaq and China Everbright Bank.

5,000 trades: Basel III’s magic number squeezes swaps books
Joe Rennison –
There is a magic number in bank capital rules – 5,000 trades – below which portfolios qualify for a lower margin period of risk. Some dealers are now trying to cut their books down to size. Others claim that’s impossible.

FCA: Regulatory fees and levies: policy proposals for 2014/15
This CP sets out our proposed policy changes to our fee and levy regimes. We are funded entirely by the fees and levies recovered from the firms we regulate – we receive no subsidies from other sources.

Keynote Address Of CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler At The 5th Annual Financial Regulatory Reform Symposium At George Washington University

SEC Fee Rate Advisory #2 For Fiscal Year 2014

ESMA Closed For Public Holiday On 1 November

“Polls, Pols And Poltergeists” – Speech Of CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton Before The Regulatory Compliance Association, New York City

Exchanges & Trading Facilities

CME at odds with dealers over living wills
Michelle Price in Hong Kong – Financial News
A CME Group executive has said the exchange is opposed to a proposal from the global dealer community to use buyside assets to shore up an ailing clearing house.

Asia-Pacific Stock Exchange Startup Readies Data, Research Ahead of Launch
Max Bowie – WatersTechnology
The Asia-Pacific Stock Exchange (APX), a new Sydney, Australia-based exchange that will list equities in Chinese and Australian companies, will begin rolling out a suite of data services with an emphasis on news and fundamental research, when it launches next year.

BATS Chi-X Europe Welcomes Initial Customers to New Trade Reporting Service
BATS Chi-X Europe, the pan-European Recognised Investment Exchange, is in the process of onboarding customers to “BXTR”, a suite of on- and off-exchange trade reporting services. With all functions fully operational, the BXTR pan-European trade reporting service has captured significant market share since its launch earlier this month.

Japan Exchange Group: Trading Overview in October 2013
Japan Exchange Group announced a trading overview (preliminary estimates) in October 2013.
Cash Equity Market: In October 2013, average daily trading value on the TSE 1st Section was JPY 2.1795 trillion.
Derivatives Market: In October 2013, total derivatives trading volume on JPX was 24,107,116 contracts

Irish Stock Exchange: Strong Performance Continues Across Equity Markets Confirming Strong Demand For Irish Shares
Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) statistics released today show the ISEQ Overall index has risen by 24.8% in the first nine months of 2013 and is the best performing index in Europe so far in 2013, ahead of the leading indices in France [13.8%] and Germany [12.9%].

London Stock Exchange Group: Proquote Launches Global Order Routing Network For Retail Brokers
London Stock Exchange Group today announces that their proprietary data and trading provider, Proquote, has launched a global order routing network for retail brokers. The new technology will allow them to route Care Orders and Direct Market Access (DMA) instructions through a community of sell side brokers.

Statistics From NASDAQ OMX Nordic Exchange October 2013 – Summary

China’s Starts Trading on NYSE

Direct Edge Fee Schedule Changes For November

Program Trading Averaged 24.4 Percent Of NYSE Volume During Oct. 21-25

Hedge Funds & Managed Futures

Ziff Brothers Investments expected to close U.S. hedge fund: report
New York-based Ziff Brothers Investments plans to gradually shut down its U.S. hedge fund, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

CORRECTED-Hedge fund managers discuss their top stock picks
Hedge fund managers presented their stock-picking ideas at a conference this week organised by the Sohn Conference Foundation. The Foundation raises money to support initiatives to cure and treat paediatric cancer.

Abandon all hope, ye who venture here
Dan McCrum | FT Alphaville
In our descent though the rings of the alternative investment universe, we have found that hedge funds are zombies and David Swensen is a mythic superman. So what then to make of venture capital? The Wizard of Oz revealed, perhaps.

Hedge funds face automation challenge
Kris Devasabai –
The industry has been trying to remove operational risk from hedge fund transactions by automating the process – with mixed results. Now, some hedge fund administrators are turning to alternatives.

MSCI puts ISS on block amid proxy firm headwinds
The Wall Street Journal
MSCI announced in its third quarter earnings release that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its influential proxy adviser and governance-services provider Institutional Shareholder Services.

Banks & Brokers

R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’
Royal Bank of Scotland, which is principally owned by the British government after a bailout five years ago, said Friday that it would put its bad loans into a separate entity as part of a plan to speed up its revamp and return money to taxpayers.

Tough Swiss Scrutiny Doesn’t Stop Traders’ Trip-Ups
John Letzing – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Unlike UBS, hometown rival Credit Suisse has managed to avoid an abundance of embarrassing, public snafus at its investment bank. But the recent discovery that a trader at Credit Suisse’s investment bank racked up millions of dollars in losses that haven’t previously been made public is a reminder that both Swiss giants are susceptible to public scandal.

BGC Partners Reports Third Quarter 2013 Financial Results

Commodities house of the year – Deutsche Bank
From the look of Deutsche Bank’s commodities offerings this year, it is difficult to believe it has been such a tough year for the asset class. The German bank’s hedge for a gold-linked deposit has seen inflows of more than a billion dollars, proving it is possible to attract investors in an uncertain market.

R.B.S. to Split Off $61 Billion in Loans Into Internal ‘Bad Bank’
Royal Bank of Scotland, which is principally owned by the British government after a bailout five years ago, said Friday that it would put its bad loans into a separate entity as part of a plan to speed up its revamp and return money to taxpayers.

3 Star Deal Makers Form London Advisory Boutique
They could call themselves the three Simons of investment banking. Simon Warshaw, who announced his departure from UBS two weeks ago, will team up with Simon Robey, a former Morgan Stanley banker, and Simon Robertson, a longtime banker and former chairman of the Rolls-Royce Group, the bankers said in a statement on Thursday.

J.P. Morgan and FDIC Wage War of Wording
Dan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Tracy –
In the frenzied final hours before J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. acquired the banking operations of failed thrift Washington Mutual Inc., the bank’s lawyers tangled with regulators over the wording of the 39-page purchase agreement. Five years later, J.P. Morgan and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are still fighting over the meaning of those words.

Clearing & Settlement

Leading FCMs, Trading Venues And Buyside Firms Connect To Traiana CreditLink For Pre-Trade Certainty For Swaps
Traiana, the leading provider of pre-trade risk and post-trade processing solutions, announces today that it has added the support of a further seven futures commissions merchants (FCMs) to its CreditLink service ahead of the November 1 regulatory deadline for pre-trade screening of trades conducted on Swap Execution Facilities (SEFs).

OTC Clear Has Become A Recognised Clearing House
OTC Clearing Hong Kong Limited (OTC Clear), a subsidiary of HKEx, announces that the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has on 25 October 2013 granted it recognition as a clearing house.

DTCC Reports Jump In Third Quarter Cash Flows Into Annuity Products

Indexes & Products

Moscow Exchange widens ETF slate
Tim Cave – Financial News
The Moscow Exchange is to list six new exchange-traded funds, in the latest in a number of steps taken by the bourse to develop its offering for both domestic and foreign investors.

Index innovation of the year – MSCI
MSCI has taken the lead in transforming academic research into empirical indexes with its range of risk premia benchmarks, which have gathered a total of $31 billion throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa in structured products and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

TSE : About New “JPX JGB Futures Volatility Index” (Tentative Calculation and Publication)
Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) will start calculating and publishing a new index “JPX JGB Futures Volatility Index”, an index that shows the volatility of 10-year Japanese Government Bond Futures contracts, from November 1, 2013.

S&P Dow Jones Indices Announces Changes To The S&P/TSX Canadian Indices – A Deletion From The S&P/TSX Preferred Share Index

2014 Weights For The Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Announced By S&P Dow Jones Indices And UBS Investment Bank


Credit Suisse dismisses trader who cost bank $6 million: WSJ
Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX) has dismissed a trader who cost the bank roughly $6 million in losses from “unusual trading activities” that are being looked at by regulators, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Britain pledges public access to tax evasion-busting database
A new database of company ownership details, designed to expose international money laundering and tax evasion schemes, will be opened up to public scrutiny, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday.

Environmental & Energy

Emerging economies nearing half of global warming emissions
Total greenhouse gas emissions by China and other emerging nations since 1850 will surpass those of rich nations this decade, complicating U.N. talks about who is most to blame for global warming, a study showed on Thursday.

Economic crisis not the main cause of the EU’s CO2 drop, researchers say
Contrary to widespread belief, including at the European Commission, the massive uptake of renewable energies since 2005 has had a greater impact on the reduction of CO2 emissions than the economic slowdown.

Investors, UN panel call on Warsaw climate talks to support CDM
Reuters Point Carbon
Investors and the panel overseeing the U.N.’s carbon market for developing countries have called on delegates at next month’s climate meeting in Warsaw to rescue the ailing scheme, which the U.N. estimates has provided $315 billion in funding to low-carbon projects to date.


BlackRock appoints Taiwan country head
Michelle Price in Hong Kong – Financial News
Global asset manager BlackRock has hired a new head for its operation in Taiwan where the firm is trying to expand its institutional presence.

Indonesia May Sell Euro-, Yen-Denominated Bonds Next Year
Natasha Brereton-Fukui – MoneyBeat – WSJ
Indonesia is considering selling bonds denominated in euros and yen next year, to diversify its funding sources.

JCCH: Japanese Commodity Markets Summary for October 2013

Dalian Commodity Exchange: Notice On Conducting The Simulated Test Of The Egg Product Trading System

Frontier Markets

Mr. Jignesh Shah Resigns From Board Of MCX
Financial Technologies (India) Limited Founder Chairman, MD & CEO, Mr. Jignesh Shah today announced his decision to resign from the Board of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX).

NSEL scam: Ex-CEO Anjani Sinha sent to jail
The Economic Times
A city sessions court today remanded former CEO of the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) Anjani Sinha to judicial custody in connection with the ongoing payment scam at the company.

MCX Weekly Market Report – October 25, 2013 To October 31, 2013

Malawi Stock Exchange Weekly Trading Report – 1st November, 2013

John Lothian Newsletter

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CEO, Trading Technologies

Past JLN Newsletters

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